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News of January 2010


Aer Lingus Aims to Join Alliance

28 January 2010

Aer Lingus Group Plc aims to join a global airline alliance to add destinations and attract more passengers after dropping its “no-frills” business model, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller said in an interview.

Aer Lingus pulled out of the Oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways Plc, in 2006, saying the revenue benefits weren’t sufficient. The carrier continues to codeshare with BA, meaning the pair sell tickets on each other’s flights, and has similar pacts with Air France’s Dutch unit KLM and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, members of the SkyTeam and Star groups.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Aer Lingus’s biggest competitor and a 29 percent shareholder after two failed takeover bids, doesn’t have alliances with other airlines and operates its routes as point-to-point services without connections to other flights. The strategy has made it Europe’s biggest discount carrier.

source: BusinessWeek.com


Iata says airlines suffered ‘worst year’ in 2009

28 January 2010

The year 2009 saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Passenger traffic dropped by 3.5% from a year earlier, while freight traffic fell 10.1% as the downturn hit demand.

Despite the improvement at the end of 2009, Iata said 2010 would be a tough year for airlines the world over.

Iata has estimated that airlines collectively lost $11bn (£6.8bn) last year, and stand to lose a further $5.6bn this year.

source: BBC News


EasyJet denies skirting French labour charges

26 January 2010

EasyJet put its staff in French airports on British labour contracts in an attempt to avoid the costly welfare contributions required under Gallic employment legislation.

Prosecutors called for the low cost carrier to be fined €225,000 and be ordered to pay more than €10 million in outstanding social security charges as easyJet went on trial yesterday on charges of flouting French labour law. The case follows a lawsuit filed by unions and social security officials.

The company denied the claims and told the court in Creteil outside Paris it had no obligation to register employees under French labour contracts at the time of the alleged offences between 2003 and 2006.

source: Times Online


Ethiopian airliner was on fire before crash

26 January 2010

An Ethiopian airliner that crashed off the coast of Lebanon was on fire before it plummeted into the Mediterranean with no known survivors.

Although Lebanese government officials were quick to rule out terrorism, they confirmed witness accounts of a “ball of fire” falling into the sea. An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched. According to one aviation expert, speaking anonymously, the aircraft probably caught fire after what he described as a “fuel tank ignition event” that may have had nothing to do with the weather.

Until yesterday, the airline had not been involved in a major crash since November 1996, when a Nairobi-bound passenger jet was commandeered by hijackers and was forced to crash land in the Indian Ocean, killing 125 people on board.

source: Telegraph.co.uk


Breast implants cost 120 New York flights for Finnair flyers

21 January 2010

First it was free flights, hotel rooms and magazine subscriptions. Now, Finnair Oyj, Finland’s biggest airline, has a new idea for attracting frequent flyers: free plastic surgery in exchange for air miles.

About 1.3 million flyers are enrolled in Finnair’s loyalty program. Earning the 3.18 million points for breast augmentation surgery requires 120 round-trip, business- class flights between Helsinki and New York, according to a points table on Finnair’s Web site. Miles earned with the airline are valid for five years.

source: Bloomberg


BA and Iberia close to signing merger

20 January 2010

British Airways and Iberia could seal their merger agreement as early as next month, according to the Spanish carrier’s biggest shareholder, savings bank Caja Madrid.

The regional bank’s chairman Miguel Blesa gave no hint that strike threats by BA’s cabin crew were having any impact on the planned marriage.

source: dailymail.co.uk


Airline introduces greener economy seat

20 January 2010

Air France has introduced a new economy class seat which it claims will save 1,700 tonnes of fuel a year — the equivalent of 650 flights from Paris to Marseilles.

The new design, being introduced into the airline’s short-haul cabins from January 30, offers passengers 5 to 7.5 cm more leg room and is 40 percent lighter than previous seats used on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s. The reduction in weight is expected to reduce emissions by 5,200 tonnes of CO2 per year, as each aircraft will weigh approximately 750kg less.

source: The Independent


New airline fills Globespan slots at Glasgow

19 January 2010

A new airline is to operate out of Glasgow Airport following the collapse of Flyglobespan. Kiss Flights, which operates from eight UK airports outside Scotland, will be offering 12 summer routes to Mediterranean destinations from April. They include Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

Flyglobespan was grounded on 16 December when its Edinburgh-based parent company, Globespan, was put into administration.

source: BBC News


German Airline gets new base in Hanover

17 January 2010

Germanwings, a German low-cost airline, will be basing three aircraft at Hanover-Langenhagen airport, making Hanover Germanwings’ sixth base in Germany.

One of the first destinations for Germanwings out of Hanover will be London Stansted. Germanwings will also be serving 14 other destinations in Europe, One of the first destinations for Germanwings out of Hanover will be London Stansted. Germanwings will also be serving 14 other destinations in Europe, including Stuttgart, Vienna, Milan, Budapest, Moscow, Palma de Mallorca, Rome, Barcelona, Split, Zagreb, Bastia, Dubrovnik, Heraklion
and Zadar.

source: travelagentcentral.com


Lufthansa launches Iraq flights

16 January 2010

Lufthansa has become the first major European carrier in 20 years to launch a service to Baghdad.

The German carrier said it was planning to fly to the Iraqi capital and Erbil in the north from Frankfurt and Munich this summer due to high demand and security issues within the country easing.

Lufthansa first started flying to Baghdad in 1956 but halted operation in 1990 because of the Gulf War, when U.S.-led forces reversed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

fuente: breakingtravelnews.com